It's Your Week. This is our new climate reality.

·3 min read

With the death of Bob Dole, many may describe his Kansas birthplace of Russell as a small town.

But USA TODAY Washington Bureau chief Susan Page knows better.

Page last interviewed Dole in July – two days before his 98th birthday. It marked a 40-year reporting relationship with the leading political figure.

Page first encountered Dole, a decorated World War II veteran, in 1980 when covering the first of his failed presidential bids. She immediately recognized his acerbic wit and dislike for pretension. She recognized her father, who with Dole, shared geography, a generation and a war.

Read the full remembrance by Page on Dole and her father, and how Kansas shaped all three.

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This is Downpour, our new climate reality

In today's edition we're featuring a years-long project on climate change: Downpour. More specifically, rainfall extremes.

The bottom line: It doesn't matter if you live North, South, East or West. America was built for the climate of the past, and it affects us all.

A massive undertaking: USA TODAY reporters analyzed more than a century of precipitation records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They read thousands of documents and talked to more than 140 people, including scientists, experts and residents forced from their homes by drought and flood.

Taken all together, the project reveals a stunning shift in the way precipitation falls in America. Before diving into the content below, we invite you to grab some headphones, open a new tab and listen to music based on a century of rainfall data.

Special Q&A: Ask your questions on climate and rainfall

"We were hearing concerns from all over the country about how increasing rainfall extremes were affecting families, farmers and utilities alike," said USA TODAY's Dinah Pulver, an investigative reporter with a focus on the environment.

"While the nation remains bitterly divided politically, the increasing downpours are an issue that brings us all together," Pulver said. "Our hope is that this project will help readers clearly understand how a warming climate affects us all and how costly it is to continue neglecting plans for the future."

Have questions? Now is your chance. Only for subscribers, Pulver will be answering questions about the project and about rainfall here. Drop a comment on this article and she will respond. Feel free to talk to fellow subscribers about it as well.

Just the headlines

Looking back

A photo from each day in January 2021.
A photo from each day in January 2021.

What will you remember the most from 2021? Our photographers and editors complied a photo from every day this year.


Thank you for reading! See you next week.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: It's Your Week. This is our new climate reality.

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